National Colors: Racial Classification and the State in Latin America [Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science on 2017-01-06 01:16Z by Steven

National Colors: Racial Classification and the State in Latin America [Review]

Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Volume 3, Issue 1, (January 2017)
pages 141-145
DOI: 10.1177/2332649216676789

Mark Q. Sawyer, Associate Professor of Political Science
University of California, Los Angeles

Mara Loveman, National Colors: Racial Classification and the State in Latin America. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014. 376 pp. $26.95. ISBN 978-0-19-933736-1

States, and in particular Latin American states, have been classified by race. National Colors: Racial Classification and the State in Latin America by Mara Loveman seeks to answer how and why states do so. The book is remarkable for its depth and scope, analyzing several countries essentially from some of the earliest colonial attempts at measurement driven by central authorities to contemporary census policies that may follow the dictates of social movements and international organizations.

Loveman rightly argues that states do not make race out of nothing but rather pick recognizable signs of human variation and endow them with characteristics and also use these axes as a means of allocating social value, either formally or informally. Loveman notes there can be slippage between state, personal, and socially recognized categorization, given all parties have different ideologies and incentives with regard to categorization. However, out of the cacophony emerge dominant discourses and ideas that define race for groups of people that come to be defined as discrete populations. But the Latin American story is not without complications at various historical points. Different logics have driven state categorization, and the state may not formally categorize at all.

Mara Loveman argues that the census first reflected colonial issues and concerns. It buttressed national projects developed by state elites. Colonial administrators saw populations as “key resources” to be enumerated. Racial categories imposed by colonial authorities identified the civilized and the uncivilized and in many cases outlined castes and detailed racial-ethnic mixtures and hierarchies that in different forms have remained part of the racial lexicon in Latin America. Loveman follows what has become the growing orthodoxy applied to historical and contemporary race in Latin America. She correctly finds that colonial authorities constructed and maintained elaborate racial hierarchies, which related to forced labor, land dispossession, and social and economic discrimination. Categories thus had material and symbolic consequences.

Loveman joins scholars like Michael Hanchard, Edward Telles, Peter Wade, Melissa Nobles, Tianna Paschel, Christina Sue, and Tanya Golash-Boza, who document both the ways in which white elites maintained racial hierarchies using the state, and how blacks, Indians, and mixed-raced individuals resisted categorization and racial discrimination in big and small ways…

Read the entire review here.

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Racial Democracy in the Americas: A Latin and U.S. Comparison

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2012-08-25 02:30Z by Steven

Racial Democracy in the Americas: A Latin and U.S. Comparison

Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume 35, Number 6 (November 2004)
pages 749-762
DOI: 10.1177/0022022104270118

Yesilernis Peña
University of California, Los Angeles

Jim Sidanius, Professor of Psychology
Harvard University

Mark Sawyer, Professor of Political Science
University of California, Los Angeles

The “racial democracy” (Iberian exceptionalism) thesis claims that racial prejudice in Latin America is not only lower than that found in the United States but is essentially absent altogether. We explored the plausibility of this thesis by the use of both explicit and implicit prejudice measures among Blacks and Whites from the United States and three Caribbean nations. In general, the results showed significant racial prejudice against Blacks and in favor of Whites in all four nations. African Americans were the only participants not to show significant implicit prejudice either in favor of or against Blacks. In addition, North Americans (i.e., participants from the United States) displayed lower implicit and explicit racial prejudice than participants in each of the three Latino nations. Overall, the results clearly contradicted the thesis of racial democracy and suggest that Latin America may not be nearly as egalitarian as some have argued.

The thesis known as “Racial democracy theory” (also referred to as Iberian exceptionalisin) argues that, relative to the United States, the nations of Latin America are largely free of the ferocious racial prejudice that has characterized race relations in the US for most of the 19th and 20th centuries (see Degler, 1986: Freyre 1951: Hoetink, 1967: Pierson, 1942: Tannenbaum, 1947). Racial democracy theorists base these conclusions upon the fact that, compared to North America. the nations of Latin America experienced a marked absence of post-manumission institutionalized racism (e.g.. segregation & Jim Crow laws), a general absence of race-based group violence (e.g.. lynching, race-base hate crimes), or racial protest, and a strikingly high rate of miscegenation. It is argued that, the extent to which racial inequality is still discernible in Latin American societies, this inequality is almost exclusively due to the residual effects of past racially contingent resource allocation and not to the effects of ongoing racial prejudice.

Racial democracy theorists attribute Latin American’s racial egalitarianism to three major factors. First, unlike the European colonists of North America, the Iberian conquerors of Latin America had the experience of living under the political and social hegemony of the Moors, a dark-skinned people, for nearly 800 years. Having experienced these dark-skinned conquerors as their political and cultural “superiors.” the Iberian colonists could not then regard the dark-skinned African and Indian slaves as sub-human with the same degree of celerity as the North American colonists found possible. Second, contrary to the Calvinist and Puritan doctrines of North American Protestantism. Catholicism regarded Native Americans, and even African Slaves, as people with souls and equally beloved of God: thus, the Catholic conquerors were less aversive to intermixing with them. Finally, in contrast to the colonists of North America, the early Latin American colonists did not venture into the New World with intact families. As a result, the Iberian colonists established sexual and emotional relationships with the Indian and African slave women rather quickly, creating a more positive attitude toward those of African descent and resulting in the high rates of miscegenation we see today in Latin America (Degler, 1986: Freye, 1946. 1951). As a result, they argue that broad based social movements like the Civil Rights movement in the US were not necessary because of the more egalitarian nature of race relations in Latin America…

Read the entire article here.

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The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Biography, Books, Gay & Lesbian, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2012-01-04 22:20Z by Steven

The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States

Duke University Press
584 pages
9.1 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4558-9
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-4572-5

Edited by:

Miriam Jiménez Román, Visiting Professor of Africana Studies
New York University

Juan Flores, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis
New York University

The Afro-Latin@ Reader focuses attention on a large, vibrant, yet oddly invisible community in the United States: people of African descent from Latin America and the Caribbean. The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans; at the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.

While the selections cover centuries of Afro-Latin@ history, since the arrival of Spanish-speaking Africans in North America in the mid-sixteenth-century, most of them focus on the past fifty years. The central question of how Afro-Latin@s relate to and experience U.S. and Latin American racial ideologies is engaged throughout, in first-person accounts of growing up Afro-Latin@, a classic essay by a leader of the Young Lords, and analyses of U.S. census data on race and ethnicity, as well as in pieces on gender and sexuality, major-league baseball, and religion. The contributions that Afro-Latin@s have made to U.S. culture are highlighted in essays on the illustrious Afro-Puerto Rican bibliophile Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and music and dance genres from salsa to mambo, and from boogaloo to hip hop. Taken together, these and many more selections help to bring Afro-Latin@s in the United States into critical view.

Contributors: Afro–Puerto Rican Testimonies Project, Josefina Baéz, Ejima Baker, Luis Barrios, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Adrian Burgos Jr., Ginetta E. B. Candelario, Adrián Castro, Jesús Colón, Marta I. Cruz-Janzen, William A. Darity Jr., Milca Esdaille, Sandra María Esteves, María Teresa Fernández (Mariposa), Carlos Flores, Juan Flores, Jack D. Forbes, David F. Garcia, Ruth Glasser, Virginia Meecham Gould, Susan D. Greenbaum, Evelio Grillo, Pablo “Yoruba” Guzmán, Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Tanya K. Hernández, Victor Hernández Cruz, Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Lisa Hoppenjans, Vielka Cecilia Hoy, Alan J. Hughes, María Rosario Jackson, James Jennings, Miriam Jiménez Román, Angela Jorge, David Lamb, Aida Lambert, Ana M. Lara, Evelyne Laurent-Perrault, Tato Laviera, John Logan, Antonio López, Felipe Luciano, Louis Pancho McFarland, Ryan Mann-Hamilton, Wayne Marshall, Marianela Medrano, Nancy Raquel Mirabal, Yvette Modestin, Ed Morales, Jairo Moreno, Marta Moreno Vega, Willie Perdomo, Graciela Pérez Gutiérrez, Sofia Quintero, Ted Richardson, Louis Reyes Rivera, Pedro R. Rivera , Raquel Z. Rivera, Yeidy Rivero, Mark Q. Sawyer, Piri Thomas, Silvio Torres-Saillant, Nilaja Sun, Sherezada “Chiqui” Vicioso, Peter H. Wood

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Editorial Note
  • Introduction
  • I. Historical Background before 1900
    • The Earliest Africans in North America / Peter H. Wood
    • Black Pioneers: The Spanish-Speaking Afroamericans of the Southwest / Jack D. Forbes
    • Slave and Free Women of Color in the Spanish Ports of New Orleans, Mobile, and Pensacola / Virginia Meacham Gould
    • Afro-Cubans in Tampa / Susan D. Greenbaum
    • Excerpt from Pulling the Muse from the Drum / Adrian Castro
  • II. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg
    • Excerpt from Racial Integrity: A Plea for the Establishment of a Chair of Negro History in Our Schools and Colleges / Arturo Alfonso Schomburg
    • The World of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg / Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof
    • Invoking Arturo Schomburg’s Legacy in Philadelphia / Evelyne Laurent-Perrault
  • III. Afro-Latin@s on the Color Line
    • Black Cuban, Black American / Evelio Grillo
    • A Puerto Rican in New York and Other Sketches / Jesus Colon
    • Melba Alvarado, El Club Cubano Inter-Americano, and the Creation of Afro-Cubanidades in New York City / Nancy Raquel Mirabel
    • An Uneven Playing Field: Afro-Latinos in Major League Baseball / Adrian Burgos Jr.
    • Changing Identities: An Afro-Latino Family Portrait / Gabriel Haslip-Viera
    • Eso era tremendo!: An Afro-Cuban Musician Remembers / Graciela Perez Gutierrez
  • IV. Roots of Salsa: Afro-Latin@ Popular Music
    • From “Indianola” to “Ño Colá”: The Strange Career of the Afro-Puerto Rican Musician / Ruth Glasser
    • Excerpt from cu/bop / Louis Reyes Rivera
    • Bauzá-Gillespie-Latin/Jazz: Difference, Modernity, and the Black Caribbean / Jairo Moreno
    • Contesting that Damned Mambo: Arsenio Rodriguez and the People of El Barrio and the Bronx in the 1950s / David F. Garcia
    • Boogaloo and Latin Soul / Juan Flores
    • Excerpt from the salsa of bethesda fountain / Tato Laviera
  • V. Black Latin@ Sixties
    • Hair Conking: Buy Black / Carlos Cooks
    • Carlos A. Cooks: Dominican Garveyite in Harlem / Pedro R. Rivera
    • Down These Mean Streets / Piri Thomas
    • African Things / Victor Hernandez Cruz
    • Black Notes and “You Do Something to Me” / Sandra Maria Esteves
    • Before People Called Me a Spic, They Called Me a Nigger / Pablo “Yoruba” Guzman
    • Excerpt from Jíbaro, My Pretty Nigger / Felipe Luciano
    • The Yoruba Orisha Tradition Comes to New York City / Marta Moreno Vega
    • Reflections and Lived Experiences of Afro-Latin@ Religiosity / Luis Barrios
    • Discovering Myself / Un Testimonio / Josefina Baez
  • VI. Afro-Latinas
    • The Black Puerto Rican Woman in Contemporary American Society / Angela Jorge
    • Something Latino Was Up with Us / Spring Redd
    • Excerpt from Poem for My Grifa-Rican Sistah, or Broken Ends Broken Promises / Mariposa (María Teresa Fernandez)
    • Latinegras: Desired Women—Undesirable Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives / Marta I. Cruz-Janzen
    • Letter to a Friend / Nilaja Sun
    • Uncovering Mirrors: Afro-Latina Lesbian Subjects / Ana M. Lara
    • The Black Bellybutton of a Bongo / Marianela Medrano
  • VII. Public Images and (Mis)Representations
    • Notes on Eusebia Cosme and Juano Hernandez / Miriam Jimenez Roman
    • Desde el Mero Medio: Race Discrimination within the Latino Community / Carlos Flores
    • Displaying Identity: Dominicans in the Black Mosaic of Washington, D.C. / Ginetta E. B. Candelario
    • Bringing the Soul: Afros, Black Empowerment, and Lucecita Benítez / Yeidy M. Rivero
    • Can BET Make You Black? Remixing and Reshaping Latin@s on Black Entertainment Television / Ejima Baker
    • The Afro-Latino Connection: Can this group be the bridge to a broadbased Black-Hispanic alliance? / Alan Hughes and Milca Esdaille
  • VIII. Afro-Latin@s in the Hip Hop Zone
    • Ghettocentricity, Blackness, and Pan-Latinidad / Raquel Z. Rivera
    • Chicano Rap Roots: Afro-Mexico and Black-Brown Cultural Exchange / Pancho McFarland
    • The Rise and Fall of Reggaeton: From Daddy Yankee to Tego Calderon and Beyond / Wayne Marshall
    • Do Platanos Go wit’ Collard Greens? / David Lamb
    • Divas Don’t Yield / Sofia Quintero
  • IX. Living Afro-Latinidads
    • An Afro-Latina’s Quest for Inclusion / Yvette Modestin
    • Retracing Migration: From Samana to New York and Back Again / Ryan Mann-Hamilton
    • Negotiating among Invisibilities: Tales of Afro-Latinidades in the United States / Vielka Cecilia Hoy
    • We Are Black Too: Experiences of a Honduran Garifuna / Aida Lambert
    • Profile of an Afro-Latina: Black, Mexican, Both / Maria Rosario Jackson
    • Enrique Patterson: Black Cuban Intellectual in Cuban Miami / Antonio Lopez
    • Reflections about Race by a Negrito Acomplejao / Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
    • Divisible Blackness: Reflections on Heterogeneity and Racial Identity / Silvio Torres-Saillant
    • Nigger-Reecan Blues / Willie Perdomo
  • X. Afro-Latin@s: Present and Future Tenses
    • How Race Counts for Hispanic Americans / John R. Logan
    • Bleach in the Rainbow: Latino Ethnicity and Preferences for Whiteness / William A. Darity Jr., Jason Dietrich, and Darrick Hamilton
    • Brown Like Me? / Ed Morales
    • Against the Myth of Racial Harmony in Puerto Rico / Afro-Puerto Rican Testimonies Project
    • Mexican Ways, African Roots / Lisa Hoppenjans and Ted Richardson
    • Afro-Latin@s and the Latino Workplace / Tanya Kateri Hernandez
    • Racial Politics in Multiethnic America: Black and Latina/o Identities and Coalitions
    • Afro-Latinism in United States Society: A Commentary / James Jennings
  • Sources and Permissions
  • Contributors
  • Index
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